Poll reveals widespread pessimism about U.S. economy

For the third year in a row, the nation's economic recovery has hit a springtime soft spot. Reflecting that weakness, only 1 in 4 Americans now expects his or her own financial situation to improve over the next year, a new Associated Press-GfK poll shows.
By TOM RAUM and JENNIFER AGIESTA Modified: April 19, 2013 at 9:26 pm •  Published: April 20, 2013
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In the new poll, few say they saw much improvement in the economy in the last month. Just 21 percent say things have gotten better, 17 percent say they've gotten worse and 60 percent thought the economy “stayed about the same.” And the public is split on whether things will get better anytime soon, with 31 percent saying the national economy will improve in the next year, 33 percent saying it will hold steady and 33 percent saying it will get worse. Further, about 4 in 10 expect the nation's unemployment rate to climb in the next year.

And the public's outlook for its own financial future is at its worst point in three years. Just 26 percent think their household economic well-being will improve over the next year, 50 percent think it will stay the same and 22 percent expect it to worsen.

Obama's overall job approval in the poll is at its lowest point since his re-election, at 50 percent, with 47 percent disapproving. His approval among Republicans is just 10 percent; of independents, 49 percent disapprove.

But Congress fared even worse. Thirty-seven percent approve of the performance of congressional Democrats, while 57 percent disapprove. For congressional Republicans, 27 percent approved of their performance and 67 percent disapproved.



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